Budapest, Hungary

Chicken paprikash on spaetzle, with sour cream. This was dinner tonight at the family home of Anna, this blog’s Budapest bureau chief. Believe me, I was never so happy for the merciful Orthodox pastoral teaching that it’s a greater sin to refuse hospitality than to break the fast. This food was so simple, but so, so perfect — my favorite kind of cooking. Anna sent me home with a Hungarian cookbook for Julie, and with some fresh paprika from Mama. After Lent, I’m going to try to recreate this at home.

And look, dessert: palacsinta, moist pancakes filled with cream cheese (foreground) and apricot preserves (background). That’s Mama, the miracle-working cook, in the rear:

What a great town Budapest is! I’ll have more to say in another post — specifically about the wonderful people I’ve met here, and the conversations we’ve had — though I’ll probably have to write it on the train tomorrow to Prague.